My Hubby is a dry waller. He works for different companies, and goes where the work is. It is probably the only advantage to being a sub- contractor.
In the spring of 2003, he took a job for my brothers uncle, working out of town. It was only about 45 minutes away by car, but Hubby didn't have a car. He decided to live on- site for the duration and come home only on weekends.
I didn't realize at the time that this job would be so different from the rest. I didn't realize that this summer job would have such a dramatic affect on him...and us.
The job was supposed to be simple. Take a former childrens residence, and turn it into a retirement home/hotel. This place sat on about 100 acres and included its own water treatment plant, and its own power generator system. I can't remember the name of the place, but it was more of a warehouse for unwanted kids. The home was built in the 50's, and eventually closed down in the 90's. What happened in those in between years is the stuff that horror movies are made of.
Children were placed there for a variety of reasons. If a child was deemed 'retarded' or suffered any kind of illness - epilepsy, physically handicapped, troublesome, or just unwanted. Rumors of staff abuse, rape, torture and even murder echoed throughout the near by town. Nobody cared. Infact, the home had a very interesting way of dealing with the town folk and the kids. You could sign out a kid for the day, and even get paid for it. Yup. They farmed out the able bodied kids. Most were overworked on farms and in private homes.
This place had its own morgue. Tres creepy. Then again, the whole damn thing was creepy. Girls were raped by staff members. kids were locked in the padded room to 'settle down', sometimes for hours. I was in the "quiet room." It freaked me out.
In one room , a cable man was killed by an agressive boy. He was in stalling cable in one one of the bedrooms and was stabbed with his own screwdriver.
The basement was probaly the worst. There were single rooms, with bare cement walls, little light, and one small window about 18 inches high- at the very top of the wall . It was so incredibly depressing and dismal. Apparently, the most violent kids were kept there.
The nightmare came to an end some time in the mid 90's with the closure of the facility. It remained empty for about 6 years, until a developer bought it lock,stock, and barrel for about 1 million dollars.
Hubby and another sub contractor agreed to stay on the premises. That way, they could work later, and completely eliminate travel time. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and Uncle Ned was happy to have his best guy on site 24/7.
It was the little things, at first. Hubby was in a room across the hall from the old gymnasium. At night he would hear what sounded like sneakers squeaking on the floor. The former cafeteria would come alive at night. The microwave that Hubby brought for his food would beep. His electric kettle would go missing. It always turned up later. Chairs could be heard being moved about. Not creepy? All of the chairs were gone. Then there were the mice.
One night after both men had been asleep, they were awakened by the sound of a thousand running feet. The room was invaded by probably 100 little mice. They ran around as if terrified of something, syncronized in their fear. Another night, hubbys air mattress jumped in the air, as if a wind had taken hold of it. It danced around the room like something out of Fantasia. The room had no windows.
The murdered cable guy must have been hanging out, too. Hubby had cable on his television. Strange, since the building had been abandoned for more than 5 years, and the only hydro was from extension cords criss-crossing the hallways.
Hubby thought that a night at the 'home' was just what I needed. I love everything paranormal, and had never met a ghost that I couldn't deal with. I packed up my keds and headed off with my man for a night of adventure.
I asked my guy not to tell anything when we got there. I often get a feeling for a place. Sometimes, it feels like I'm going to vomit, other times I have the urge to cry. Sometimes, I'm just creeped out.
I knew immeadiately that something was amiss. The whole property felt tainted, unclean, wrong. I knew where the morgue was, without being told. I felt overwhelming sadness in that room. I heard the ghostly children playing in the gym. I heard laughter and felt the fear. At the pool that night, I could feel unseen eyes watching our every move. Hubby had the joy of watching a 200 pound pool cover dance in the moonlight one evening during a solo swim. He even felt cold hands on his legs one night in the pool house change room. He still continued his midnight swims.
We went on a tour of the facility. Hubby took me into the restricted area, accesible only by a key, 'borrowed' from the groundskeeper. ( the groundskeeper, by the way, had been there since long before the place closed. He told Hubby that he wouldn't even come onto the property after dusk) My guy had been living there for weeks. He knew that place like the back of hand. Somehow, in the early morning light, we got lost. My panic increased with every step, but I refused to give in to panic. We quickened our steps. I heard foot steps behind me, also going faster. I smelled fruity perfume, in a closed down hell hole. It didn't seem possible. I didn't say a word as we navigated those hallways. I was afraid to. We finally left out of an emergency exit. When I spilled my guts about the echoing footsteps, Hubby admitted that he had heard them, too.
I was ready to go home. Enough is enough. As we were packing the car for our ride home, I laughed aloud at my fear. Completley irrational. What a scaredy cat I had been . As I laughed at my silliness for letting myself be frightened, I heard a harsh SHH!.
I got into the car and let my brave guy finish the packing.
Hubby remained on site for about 2 more weeks. When I got home later that day, we noticed that one of my shoes had been left on the job. I found it 2 days later, while Hubby was still away. It was stained and smelly, while the other one was clean and new.